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Wavefield Synthesis for Interactive Sound Installations

Wavefield synthesis (WFS), the spatialization of audio through the recreation of a virtual source's wavefront, is uniquely suited to interactive applications where listeners move throughout the rendering space and more than one listener is involved. This paper describes the features of WFS that make it useful for interactive applications, and takes a recent project at Ircam as a case study which demonstrates these advantages. The interactive installation GrainStick was developed as a collaboration between the composer Pierre Jodlowski and the European project Sound And Music For Everyone Everyday Everywhere Everyway (SAME) at Ircam, Paris. The interaction design of GrainStick presents a new development in multimodal interfaces and multichannel sound by allowing users control of their auditory scene through gesture analysis performed on infrared camera motion tracking and accelerometer data.

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